PM hopeful of nuke deal, says won't pre-judge the end result

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On Board PM's Special Aircraft, Oct 18 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said he had not given up hope on the Indo-US nuclear deal though he could not ''pre-judge the end result''.

''Efforts are on to resolve the problem at home. The interaction with the Left is still on. Therefore, I don't want to pre-judge the end result,'' he told mediapersons on board the special Aircraft One on way back after a two-nation five-day visit to Nigeria and South Africa.

Asked if he would see the deal through, Dr Singh said, ''The process is still on.'' When a reporter pointed out the intransigence of the Left against the the implementation of the deal, he said, ''There are some difficulties. We are in a coalition. We will have to see a way out.

I have not given up hope.'' Referring to a statement by the US spokesman that India will be able to push the nuclear deal through within the 2008 timeframe, the Prime Minister said, ''We will make every effort to evolve a national consesus. The process that emerges as a result of discussions with the Left partners will enable us to move further.'' Asked if his image had taken a beating after the government developed cold feet on the nuclear deal issue following the Left opposition, Dr Singh conceded that there was a slight setback, but ''I would not say it is the end of life''.

''If something does not go the way you want that affects.'' In this context, he referred to the remark made by him at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit last week that his was not a ''one-issue'' government. He said his government had a lot of things on its agenda. It had implemented many of them and many more were still there, he added.

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